People living in rural areas of Ganderbal District have accused transport department and traffic police of failing to control transporters from charging extra fare from passengers as per the approved rate list.
Several people living in rural areas of Ganderbal district from Gund, Rayil, Kullan, Gagangeer, Sonamarg, Ganiwan and other remote areas complained of overcharging by Sumo drivers. They said that the drivers charge rates that are far more than the fare fixed by the government.
“It seems the Government has given free hand to transporters to fleece the passengers,” said Jahangir Lone, a resident of Gund .
“In absence of the revised fare list, I have to pay Rs 60 from Kangan to Gund. Earlier I used to pay on Rs 40 for the same route,” he said.
Passengers said they are charged arbitrarily for traveling in Tata Sumos on the pretext that state Government has hiked the fare.
“Ironically, more than a month has passed since the government approved revised rates for passenger vehicles but the Transport department is resorting to inordinate delay to notify the new fare for different routes. Some unscrupulous transporters take undue advantage of this and charge at their will,” said Riyaz Ahmad.
The aggrieved passengers castigated the state government for subjecting them to inconvenience, adding that transporters mostly Sumo drivers plying their vehicles on said roads are blackmailing the poor passengers who have been left with no other chance except to pay the fare as per the demand of the driver of the vehicle.
He said that officials of transport department and traffic police are well aware about this practice and added that the authorities are turning a blind eye towards the suffering of common people.
The Jammu and Kashmir government last month announced a hike in passenger fare in view of increase in fuel prices.
The fare for big buses was hiked by 13.75 per cent, medium and mini-busses 13.7%, cabs and taxis 8.25 %, autos 2.85 %, and others 13.7 % respectively.
The passengers urged up on the concerned authorities to keep regular check on transporters charging exorbitantly from passengers.